by J. D. Pinkerton
A new alderman was chosen by Kenton City Board members meeting last week. Gerald Keel was chosen from a field of three to replace John Maughn who resigned. Maughn requested to be back on the board but his resignation had previously been approved by the board and sent to the state. Others seeking the position were Bruce Davidson and Jesse Griggs. All three spoke briefly to the board.
Through secret ballot, Keel won the vote and was sworn in afterwards. Kenton Mayor Danny Jowers, who is also an Obion County commissioner, swore him in.
Jowers also appointed Keel as committee chairperson over the water and sewer department.
Concerning the building across the street from Kenton City Hall which used to be an Amoco service station, Wade Simpson said he advocates tearing the building down. Every board member was of the same accord. Jowers priced the rental of a trac-hoe to tear down the building at $500 a day. The city will operate that machinery to save money rather than hiring it out.
Sara Skinner said, “I don’t think we need to sell that property, we need parking.” Alderman Gerald Keel agreed that new parking is of a paramount order for downtown Kenton. Board members also want the White Squirrel sign to be put back up. The sign will not take up any of the parking, said Jowers.
“I don’t think we will ever see industry back in this town like we had in the 80s,” said Glenn Zaricor. “I think we need to focus on Kenton being a good place to live. We have low crime; Kenton is just a nice place to live. I’m all for putting that sign back.”
The board approved tearing down the building.
In other action:
The city accepted a bid of $1,200 for city owned property at S. Hall Street. The Hall Street property and a lot on Tilghman were deeded back to the city by the county after non-payment of taxes. The other property will be offered again for bids in the future.
The board discussed a lawsuit the city of Kenton will be filing over a sewer tap that was not put in as was contracted. The city finished the job but are now $1,600 in the red. A letter was sent out to the company, Bobby Lutrell & Sons, two months ago but they have not responded.
Mayor Jowers said the city has received several complaints about citizens’ yards. The city has sent letters out and the chief of police has been going to houses. The city’s only recourse would be to cite the homeowners into court for not cleaning up their properties.
The area across the railroad tracks has been cleaned up by the railroad.
The Orchard Street water tank is undergoing tank maintenance now, The tank is down as the workers sandblast the inside. City water and wastewater operator Nathan Spencer said it has been 20 years since anything has been done on the inside of the tank. It will take two to three weeks to get everything blasted then a couple more weeks to get it painted so they can put water back into it.
Spencer said he is having to run the water plant by hand right now since the other tank is down for scheduled maintenance. Jowers said the city may experience water pressure issues till all is completed. Spencer advised citizens to let him know if their water pressure is down, and he may be able to remedy it. He won’t know though unless the citizens tell him, he said.
Alderperson Delores Agee gave the police report noting that 34 citations were issued for the month. Agee asked if the citations were being paid and Kenton Police Chief Shelia Barnes said they were being paid.
New alderman Keel is originally from Carroll County and graduated high school at Atwood. “I started working at Goodyear about 19 years ago. I was driving through Kenton thinking I needed to move closer to Goodyear. Kenton looked nice; I bought a home here and have been here ever since.” He works for Anderson’s Grain in Kenton now.
“I’m new at this; I have a lot to learn but if anyone wishes to talk with me, I’ll be available for them. I always have an open ear if someone has a concern.”